More than the sum of its parts, an Eggs Benedict recipe consists of warm slices of ham and poached eggs atop toasted English muffin halves or crumpets, crowned with Hollandaise Sauce. Put like that, it doesn't sound so daunting, does it?
As simply as possible, I'll explain how to poach eggs, how to
make Hollandaise Sauce, and how to put it all together (with some good
prep tips) to make Eggs Benedict for your brunch guests.
Three recipes in one, a poached eggs recipe and a Hollandaise sauce recipe come together with toast and ham to make the Eggs Benedict recipe.
4 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered or 8 crumpets
8 1/4-inch slices ham, warmed and cut to fit
8 poached eggs
1 1/4 cups (about) Hollandaise Sauce
Poached Egg Recipe
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar (any variety) 8 eggs
Bring 2-3 inches of water almost to a boil in a large sauté pan. Add the salt and vinegar. One at a time, crack the eggs into a cup and then slip the egg into the barely simmering water. Reduce the heat, if need be, to maintain that low simmer.
Cook just until the whites are set and the yolks are glazed but still very soft, about 3 minutes. (Wait until the eggs are set to dislodge any that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the poached eggs onto a dish towel to drain. Trim the edges of any streamers so they're nice and tidy. (If the eggs get too cold, slip them back into the simmering water for a few seconds and drain again.)
Cook as above but remove the eggs from the water after 2 minutes. Immediately place them in ice water to prevent them from cooking further. Cover and refrigerate the eggs and water for up to 12 hours. To reheat, slip them into simmering water for about 30 seconds.
Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup melted butter
Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk the mixture constantly over very low heat until thickened. Immediately remove the pan from the heat but continue whisking for 1 minute. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cool slightly.
Scrape the mixture into a blender. With the motor running at medium-high speed, add the melted (but not hot) butter in a slow, steady stream until it is well-incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
To keep warm, place the Hollandaise Sauce in a bowl over (but not
touching) hot water, stirring occasionally, or simply place the blender
container in warm (not hot) water.
Now put it together.
How to Make Eggs Benedict:
Start by preparing the Hollandaise Sauce. Keep it warm but do not let it boil.
Start the water for the eggs. Warm the ham slices, and toast and butter the muffins or crumpets. Keep them warm in a warm oven.
Finish preparing the Poached Eggs.
To assemble, place a slice of ham atop an English muffin half or crumpet, place a poached egg on the ham, and spoon a little Hollandaise Sauce over the top. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
Place sliced avocado, fresh spinach leaves or thick grilled
tomato slices between the ham and egg or, if you prefer, substitute
these for the ham.
See the complete brunch menu for the Eggs Benedict recipe